tv Q A CSPAN May 25, 2014 11:02pm-12:01am EDT
so a natural for me. >> what job did you have in this town, i know you have been here for a long time, gave you the best training for what you are doing now? >> probably working for sandlot and also john dingell, to great leaders in oversight, great teachers. learned a lot from both of them. learned how to be fair and aggressive. how to work with the press. why inspector general should work with congress because we report to them. i think both of those men -- investigation's for both of them over the years. >> i assume there is a special category of members of congress that are involved in oversight. >> excuse me. any congressional committee can do oversight.
everyone thinks of congress as passing laws, the budget, create a new law am appropriate new money. if you look at the history of congress, oversight is viewed from the beginning as a dual and almost as important a function. oversight is how we see how the money is being spent. if you look back, the history goes back to george washington. the first oversight action is by one of the first congresses. it is when, i cannot remember the general, but almost the entire u.s. army is eliminated in indiana by an attack by indians, and congress, the first or second congress, sends a letter to his excellency, president washington, please explain what happened to our army. they eventually send general wayne to handle that. this is the first oversight. basically, what happened to the
army, explain. you are the chief executive. we are the ones who report to the people. it is actually a controversy at that time. so funny the issue of executive branch not providing records to congress goes back to george washington. fortunately cooler heads prevailed and george washington's initial response was, and you can see this in the papers, i do not owe them anything. i do not give them the audacity of the house to get them records. eventually he prevails and provides the information. oversight is an important function. >> how many tricks have you made to afghanistan? >> i try to go seven or eight quarters. we have about 60 people over there. i go on a regular basis, try to get over there. >> had you met president karzai? >> no. i have intentionally not wanted to meet the president.
i think my mission is to report to the president of the united states of the united states and congress. i meet with lower officials but i think that is getting involved in local politics. >> back in 2012 we have a little bit from a speech that he made. let's watch. >> the afghan president has blamed foreign countries for the corruption in government departments. speaking at the anticorruption date, the afghan leader said he had not seen a sign of success in tackling corruption but acknowledge the need for reform in the country. >> corruption in afghanistan is a reality. the part that it exists in our administration for present a small portion. the biggest part of the corruption in the country that involves hundreds of millions of dollars does not belong to us. it has been imposed on us to
weaken the government. >> the scandal surrounding kabul bank not only revealed an enormous scale to a poor country but implicated some of the afghan elite in enabling 12 people to share the equivalent of nearly 700 million euros. afghanistan is regularly ranked as the world's most corrupted nation. tied to a serious effort to stamp it out. >> how is it possible that 700 million euros is about $1 billion. how is it possible that the money could find their way to the hands of the afghans? >> the kabul bank is an interesting case. actually a sad documentary on what is going on over there. it has been described by others. we have looked at it briefly from representatives as a ponzi scheme. the entire bank was.
most of the money went to i believe the 1920 or individual corporations with ties to high officials and important people in the afghan economy and afghan government. there have been public statements by the afghan ministries. they did not aggressively enough pursue the disaster. how can it happen echo there are crooks everywhere. most of that money, if not all of it was afghan money. these were poor people of afghanistan that put their money into the bank and it got stolen. now, the impact is still being felt because as that clip alluded to, international organizations have said you have to clean up your act, particularly dealing with
banking oversight and regulation and have to come up to international standards on money laundering and anti-money laundering, and they have not met the standards. and just before my last trip over here, an international body came in and downgraded the afghan banking system because they have not done that. what i am being told is next month they may very well blacklist afghanistan. that would put them into an elite group of nefarious countries that are lack listed and will be very difficult for banks, corresponding banks to deal with the afghan banking system. it could be difficult for international aid to get there, but if they do not clean up their act am it will be difficult for honest people, honest countries to invest in afghanistan because you need a banking system and you need that to get them out of the
dependency on the international community to support them. >> what do you make of karzai? >> the elected president of a foreign government. he represents the will of the afghanistan people. he is the president of their country. >> why has he so often been very critical of the country? >> it is very difficult to answer that. i know he has been very difficult for officials to deal with but i am looking forward to the future. there is an election going on, and we're looking forward to a new residence, whoever it will be, and hopefully we will have better relations. >> you have any sense for how much money he has personally taken from the united states? >> i know nothing about that. >> is it true he built a compound for himself after he leaves the job?
>> i believe that has been covered by reporting. he is a house or palace location in kabul. that is a public report and i believe you can see it there. >> how big is your organization? >> it consists of 200 agents and auditors in support staff. we have about 50-55 people in afghanistan. we are at kabul and other bases. the largest u.s. federal law enforcement presence in afghanistan. >> where are you headquartered in town? >> across the river in crystal city. >> i can see the white house and congress from from my office. >> who do you answer to? >> the way the statute is written, i basically answer to the president. it is a unique office. it has been the best job i have ever had.
i do not sit inside the department of defense or aid or state. i basically sit above any government agency that does reconstruction. congress set that up by statue. i have to file my reports with somebody. i file them with congress and the secretary of state and defense. >> what kind of authority do you have? >> full law enforcement authorities, full audit authority. we have the right to demand records and demand material access from any government agency doing reconstruction come and if we do not get that information, we will file a seven day letter where we notify the head of the agency and congress, and we do everything publicly if we can because we believe that is the best way to do it, and we will notify the press if we do not get access to material. >> who do you answer to on the
hill? >> it is interesting am our senate armed services and house armed services are appropriating committees are the appropriation budget for foreign operations committee. >> how long are you guaranteed to have this job or to have this budget? >> washington is no guarantee. i serve at the pleasure of the of the office of the president of united states. our agency by law goes out of existence at a certain point in time. it is a temporary agency, which is good and bad. i totally support temporary agencies. we go out of business when the amount of authorized and appropriated but not yet spend
funds fall below $250 million. then we go out of existence six months later, which i think is good. there is no need for us at that time. there is approximately $19 billion authorized appropriated not yet spent in the pipeline, and approximately six oh yen-$10 billion we will spend for the next decade on reconstruction. we may be around for a long time. >> of the $103 billion that has already been spent on reconstruction -- >> part of that is not yet spent. >> how much of that has been spent incorrectly or wrongly? >> i would like to give you an exact number. i can't. i cannot even give you a percentage. i can just a a lot of money. i focused on trying to stop waste and catch people who did it in the past but to go out and figure it out and add it up and
say it is 50%, 30% am i think we are spending a lot of money. my staff time can be better spent trying to find the problems, identify the problems and help correct them. >> if i ask you, have the american people gotten their money's worth? >> their full money's worth? no. definitely not. there have been some good things done, a lot of good things done, and we have a lot of hard-working people. a lot of the people have gone over. department of commerce has gone over. a lot of people have devoted their lives and energies over there, but have we gotten the biggest bang for the buck? no. that is what we find all of the time. poor planning, poor execution. >> here is a part of an nbc report.
get your reaction to this. >> defense officials call it the big white elephant no one wants. located at camp whether neck in southern afghanistan, a brand-new state of the art military headquarters. john sopko calls it a total waste of taxpayer money. >> the building will probably never be used and will be destroyed. >> across $34 million and 64,000 square feet, it is larger than a football field, complete with a war room theater in another -- and the office bait -- space to accommodate 1500 workers. richard mills said he did not need the building and did not want it. there will soon be no one to use it. in america's drawdown from afghanistan, the number of forces has already fallen from 20,000 to 7000 since it would be
too expensive to operate, not even the afghan lee terry wants it. >> that was 2013. how does that happen? >> that is what we are trying to find out. we do not really know. we have an ongoing investigation, special projects looking at how did we end up like this? basically we have wasted 34 or 35 million dollars. a building that no one wanted. the general was supposed to inherit it. he said i do not want it, don't do it. general allen said we are still trying to identify who in the pentagon or military did it and why. it is very difficult. we are having difficulty interviewing people. it is shocking. shocked by the lack of candor we are finding. but i looked at that case in
particular because someone had to do something. i asked the dodig if he wanted to look at it, and he said if you have all over there, you can do it. we coordinate our work. but two general officers took me aside separately and said you have to look at that. because that is indicative of the problem of military construction. it starts and never stops. and i trusted these two generals. they have been around. they know what is going on. i went back and later talk to sam nunn and other people who work for him when i worked for the senator, and i said what do we have here?
he said you have something that has to be looked at, so we're looking at it. trying to find out. i do not know what the end result will be, but we will find out. that is one of the problem that clearly comes out from the work we have done. no one is being held accountable. i am in the accountability business. i have been doing that since i left on force and in 1977. the 1978 inspector general act was created when i got out of law school. which we are part of. you have to hold people accountable. if you don't, this keeps being repeated. that is why we are going to find out who did it and why. >> when was your office created? >> it was created in 2008. >> who was behind the creation of it? >> it is funny, most people
would not take credit for it. i do not actually know. the history is opaque on who introduced legislation. it was based upon the theory that was used in a rack for a special inspector general. then we started sending more reconstruction money. the idea was to create a new one. i cannot tell you which senator or congressman was pushing it. >> the image in the media is more and more of this kind of thing. we not getting our money's worth, and you say you cannot find a place where someone first responsible for it. how can that happen? >> we still do not have a central database of where we spent the money? >> why not? >> that is a good question. the department of defense still
cannot give us audited financial records. i spoke to a former comptroller general. the senator suggest i not talk to him. i will not mention which one. he said you realize we put the defense department procurement on a high risk list in 1991 and still have not gotten off. that is one of the things i want to try to elevate. that is part of this job. let's fix some of the problems. i view this as my last federal gig and job. i have seen these problems time and time again. so we have a different approach. we are going to try to fix some of the bigger problems that are indicative in afghanistan. what you see in afghanistan is what you see in procurement that the defense department carrying out programs at state or usaid
around the world. we need to highlight the problems. we need to hold people accountable. >> again, listening, you have the president of the united states and his officers in state and defense department, why would they not turn and say, get to the bottom of this? >> it is a lot easier to say than do. thousands of people below them. you are talking about cultures. you have not even had really aggressive inspector general's in defense and state and aid. they were acting. i am very encouraged the president has appointed some aggressive inspector general. so things may change. if you have an acting ig, and we had one before i came here, you have to have a permanent one. an acting ig is always looking
over your shoulder. never has the authority of a full-blown confirmed inspector general, so you need that. but you need them to approach this as this is an important issue and have to get to the bottom of it and have to work with the press and congress and the administration to fix it. that is why i am hoping to energize. >> here is video of the incinerator. you are there. what is this? >> this is another example of sheer waste. the decision was made based upon concerns from iraq that we were using burn pits and hurting the gis. hurting our sites from smelling and freezing the horrible fumes. so congress enacted law and said you are going to use sophisticated incinerators in
afghanistan. so we built them and do not use them. this thing was built and poorly constructed. it looks nice, but if you actually look at it and look closely, it cannot he used. we're are fighting them all over afghanistan. not used, underused or in this case built and has been torn down. >> who built it? >> u.s. contractors or afghan contractors or whatever. it was poorly designed for the system. they had no pump down there so the system will fall apart. the garbage will go in there and not come out. >> do we know who wanted the incinerators? >> congress said you have to use them.
apparently someone procured these things off the shelf. they built them. most of have been torn down or have been torn down because we are building down the basis for the afghans. this is an example of millions of dollars of taxpayer money being wasted. >> what is the most successful thing you have seen built over there with the $103 billion? >> ironically the best built building is the one you showed in camp whether neck. i have not seen a better building than that. the problem is it will not be used and will probably be torn down but other than that of terrifically built building. it is hard to say what has been the best use of taxpayer funds in afghanistan. i am looking for that. to be honest, i have to write a number of lessons learned report to help congress and the administration. i can base those on failures or on successes. last year i sent a letter and
asked them for their 10 most successful projects or programs, as well as 10 worst, and tell me why. they did not answer the letter. none of them. they did not give me the 10 programs. i said maybe this is too difficult. maybe 10 is too hard. i said just get me some and why. they did not answer. they gave me anecdotal information. health care has improved. afghanistan children are going to school. the military is aggressive. i said that does not help me, what program led to better education, what programs lead to better health or roads? there is no connection between general health care improvement
and a specific program, and that is important, because it is a decreasing budget. we have to rack and stack which programs are the best and worst, because otherwise congress is forced to cut across-the-board. they do not know what worked. i still do not have that answer. i have reached out to the ngos and nongovernment organizations, the charities to get a list of what works and what does not. i am reaching out to corporate america. only what has worked and what doesn't. i am like ronald reagan, trust but verify. but i need the information. and the agencies of the u.s. government are not providing it, and i think that is a shame. >> how often have you seen and afghanistan in a non-government operation, charity and have walked away and said that is not a charity you though they are making money.
>> i have not seen them in afghanistan per se but it is amazing what the definition of a charity is. i have been impressed by some ngos in afghanistan. i meet with them on a regular basis over there. >> you say you are impressed? >> yes, by some of them. >> here was an article done may 4 by scott higam, headline is "big budgets and little oversight in war zone." increasing annual revenue from one $.2 million to $706 million, most of it from one corner of the federal government, the u.s. agency for international development. this is a long, involved story, and you read it, and you learn a lot of people that work at usaid have moved over to the company
and doubled their salaries. people are making hundreds of thousands of dollars off of something that was supposed to be a charity. and help us here. if you are an american taxpayer and looking at this and saying, when does this stop? >> you raise a couple of issues. one is why is aig using a particular entity? then, how good of a job they are doing are we getting bang for the buck? that is a separate issue. separate issue, little bang for the buck, a little beyond my jurisdiction, and that is the tax code. how do you find something as charity or not charity? i can look, and we have had a number of audits dealing with this company in particular. they are public. two questions. one is, should it be a charity
or not? i have no opinion on that. i do not know the tax code that well. i have enough problems filling out my own tax return, let alone figuring out what is a charity or not. the second question is do they do a good job? we have had complaints about the oversight that usaid has provided. the question is the revolving door, has that had any impact on the oversight? i can tell you quite clearly we are concerned about that. usaid is looking at that and we are looking at that. there is a secondary issue, and that is restrictions on employees on talking to congress or the inspector general, or even aid about problems they see, and we are very concerned about that. we announced an investigation and have been asked to look at that by a number of senators. so we are looking at that issue.
>> it shows the reality of afghanistan and the danger the troops have been putting up with . it is a war. people are trying to kill you. people have to keep that in context. the aid of people are working in a country where people are trying to kill them. they are very happy to kill them and you're giving money to a country where there is a significant war going on, and there are people dying all the time. not many american soldiers because the afghan military is taking over that but we are in a war. this is not kansas. so when people think it is over, it is not really over, particularly since we are talking about foreign assistance
for years to come to make sure afghanistan does not become a home for terrorists to assault us. >> but will it work when you cannot keep track of where your money is? >> i am an eternal optimist. i think individuals can make it work. we have to work smarter and harder and we have to pause with the new government coming in and say what are you going to do about corruption the? what are you going to do about these other things to ensure we can give you the money and our people feel it will be spent wisely? i am optimistic about that. we have to think better. this is not kansas. i do not think you are dealing with u.s. businesses and core systems. you have to realize what you are dealing with. i am optimistic. >> there is something called the national priorities project that keeps track of how the money is
being spent. by the time this runs, it will be much higher. cost of the war overall, $717 billion. cost of the war in iraq since 2003, $816 billion. total $1.5 trillion. you worked in congress for how many years? >> almost a quarter-century. >> how was it we were able to fight the wars without paying for them? >> that is above my pay grade. i have been an inspector all these years and investigator. ask how could a physically happen? >> you pass the budget and the appropriators. i do not know if i can really answer that question. like something must have led you to get into the job. were you angry going into the job about what you thought was a
misspent american budget over there? >> i was not angry. i just felt i could help. i have been doing this -- i came to the town in 1982. we overlapped you in c-span. i remember seeing c-span grow in such a pleasure working on the hill in being able to see the senate floor because of you so we did not have to listen to the bells and whistles and all this stuff to find out what members were doing. i thought i could help. i still do think i can help and try to change the mentality of opening the spigot in spending money and holding people accountability -- accountable and that is why i took a job. >> i want to show video of 1980 seven, your first appearance that we know of on the network him and this is you and another job. then i will ask you what you are doing. >> as previously alluded to by
senator cohen, on the evening of saturday, november 2, 1985 kgb agents walked out of a georgetown restaurant and into the defector history. the publicity surrounding his last supper in georgetown continues to this day, both in the controlled soviet press, as well as the western media. particularly in the soviet union and behind the iron curtain him at the events surrounding his alleged escape and handling have been expounded to illustrate the treatment expected of any fugitive to the west. >> what were you doing there? [laughter] >> i was growing a beard i think at that time. >> i was working for the senator on permanent subcommittee of investigations and we had conducted a long-term investigation into the handling of defect errors and immigrants by the u.s. government.
and other communist countries. i was talking about her and ask kgb agent to read affected, and then was trotted out in the foreign press saying how bad the united states was. >> what did you learn from that experience? >> we need to improve the program because we did mishandle it and were not fully utilizing the potential of the people. >> here you are 12 years later. >> hopefully i got a better haircut. >> the staff statement that follows and was introduced today encompasses a summary of results of two-year investigation that included two fact-finding missions to europe, hundreds of interviews with members of the intelligence and law enforcement communities, as well as an equal number of interviews with foreign officials, smugglers, scientists and foreign policymakers. this is our third interim staff
report on the subject. on the basis of investigation, the staff believes what is currently known about nuclear materials and know-how demonstrates that threat this nation cannot ignore. the specter of what we do not know, however, is even more on -- more ominous. certain conclusions are evident this morning. the threat of nuclear diversion and trafficking from the former soviet union is the nation's number one national security threat. the threat is not theoretical, but real. as evidenced by documented seizures of uranium and plutonium in both the former soviet union as well as elsewhere in europe. >> what has changed and what did you learn? >> i lost my beard. it is very interesting. we were investigating proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
one of the great successes is that we convince the ukrainian government to give up all of their nuclear weapons. and the nuclear know-how. we did that and can't expand and other countries. that was an important thing to do. as the soviet union was falling, it was deteriorating. that is an issue that members of committee were very concerned about and still are. senator nunn is still working on the issue and still something the global flow reparation of weapons of mass destruction is still a big issue. >> here you are in 2005 on another issue. >> i am not pessimistic. i have looked at screwed up agencies in screwed up issues for 21 years. this to will pass. i am certain we will get our act together.
what i am hoping is what i was told when i originally came to the hill back in 1982, sam nunn was tutoring me and basically said national security is a nonpartisan, bipartisan issue. he was correct. i only hope the partisanship we have seen, particularly the partisanship on terrorism can dissipate, maybe because this is not a presidential year, we will actually have a nonpartisan approach to the problem, which is the only way we can successfully do it. >> you said back then you're not a pessimist or an optimist. nine years later, $10 trillion in debt since then. how are we doing otherwise? >> well, i hope national
security still remains a nonpartisan issue. so many republicans and democrats from when i started said that when we go to the border we lose our political affiliation. and you make me think about a lot of people died over that and we should not turn this into a republican or democratic issue, excuse me, because when you get
shot at in afghanistan or korea or wherever, you are not sure doing at a republican or democrat but shooting an american. i do not know why that struck me as we have to stop this craziness about making everything partisan. it is u.s. government, the u.s. interests overseas. not the democratic party, tea party party, it is our interests. and it made me think when you showed that clip, we have a major investigation going on in afghanistan right now. it has been ongoing. it is about contractors who did not do the right thing and as a result, americans died.
americans died, not political party, and it struck me. i normally don't do a boehner and on that. >> there was a story where i think we lost $9 billion in iraq somewhere. what happened to it? that does not have to do with the partisanship but what happened to the business that got involved or the government? >> some got indicted, some lost the ability to contract. a lot it not. what i am trying to say is that fraud kills. it is nonpartisan fraud. we have to do something about it. we do not have unlimited budgets. money gets wasted on a building that will never be used is money that could have helped afghans.
you keep seeing this again and again and again. i am very proud to work for this administration. i think it is important people realize i was appointed by the president. inspector generals are independent. but it is important that the people see that the government does care. there are lots of old who care about wasting money. they do not approach me as a partisan. it is they are trying to fix it. my job is to help them fix it. this is something we really need to focus on because i think too many people think no one in the government cares. i am sort of the spokesman for those who do. it is the generals who call me up. it will be the people who see c-span.
my investigators say when you call on c-span in my uptick of complaints goes up. so it actually helps us. that is why we work with the press because success breeds success. but there are people in the government, not just the aig's trying to do a good job. we just have to listen to them. >> here you are in january of this year. >> and chairman, why should we be concerned about the situation, even though this hit american shores, we all know the narcotics crisis in afghanistan is a national security concern, because it distorts the afghanistan economy, poisons the banking sector, if you'll of growing illicit economy, undermines the legitimacy of the afghanistan government by stoking corruption, nourishing criminal networks and providing
approximately 30% of the financial support to the taliban and other insurgent groups. it also puts at risk the fragile reconstruction gains we have made over the past 12 years, whether in health, education, women's issues, rule of law or governance. >> from everything you read, this is far more lucrative -- the poppy crop is far more lucrative than it has ever been? >> because i has not been a priority. that is the answer. has not been a priority for us, and has not been a priority for the afghans. it is lucrative. it is the 800 pound the roulette in the room. it could spoil everything. there will be more in more evidence coming out i think. you will see the opium is
reaching u.s. shores. they produce 70% or 80% of all the opium in the world. that is one of the things over the past 12 years. i am told by my people that the crop this year will be even bigger than last year, which was bigger than the year before. if we do not address that am a what you basically have is a funding source. 30% of the money insurgents get comes from opium. we have an automatic funding source. in many areas, you overlay the opium production areas with the areas controlled by the government and there is a pretty good match. because the drug dealers do not want a central government to work. the drug dealers do not care about honesty. they do not care about women's issues, health care, education. unless we address the drug issue, you will have a second
government operating. it will be cartel like. it will be criminal organizations giving money to the taliban and. so this is an issue. again, i do not do policy. the policy is to create a stable afghan government that will keep terrorists out of the country who will not attack us. what we say is you have to focus on the narcotics issue. we have not been doing that. >> go back to the taxpayer watching all of this. they see you uncovering the misuse of funds. they see the poppy crop at her than it has ever been. they watch president karzai criticized us constantly. why are we there? you have watch this town for 37 years. what needs to change? you said something has to change.
why won't it change now? >> again, i do not do policy. what i am saying is the process to carry out change has to improve. we have to do the programs better. i think it can change it people of like mind it together. if people know what the issues and facts are and can try to address it. why are we there? the state of reason is to make sure that country does not become a safe harbor for terrorists that will attack us and attack our allies and to help do that, we are helping the afghan people. that is our state of policy. my job is to help our u.s. government officials in congress understand the issues and try to make the money go further and do what it is supposed to do. >> i found this on your website. it is complicated.
i will read it. inspector general for afghanistan. 52 projects that may lead to international security assistance force this. december, 2014 construction deadline. increasing costs and oversight risks if these projects are continued. >> that was said for the u.s. government to give assistance. to give assistance to afghanistan. >> you identified 52 projects
that may lead to international security forces. it estimated that only one facility worth $16 million would not meet the construction deadline. in other words, 52 projects and that is anly one -- 98% difference. >> i don't member specifically that finding. >> with all the different acronyms, how does anybody keep track of who has the authority and you can stop these things when they are not working? that is a good question. the best we can do is follow our , and when we put everything out in the public
domain, we try to write it so people will understand it. issue a quarterly report which actually everybody uses, including people in the government and afghan government. put the information out there, that is part of it. my first job was a paperboy in cincinatti star, and their logo was a lighthouse. >> the cincinnati post. >> right. i was a little paperboy. me of what our job is. our job is to get the information out there and hopefully the policymakers will take a look at it, use it to the
betterment of our country and the betterment of afghanistan reconstruction. >> how would you rate this job so far that you have compared to all the other jobs? >> best i've ever had. >> why? >> great challenge, great people. i think it is important issue. i think it is an opportunity to get something done. i view this as my last federal job. me lose hair over the years, i have been doing this since the late 70's. it is an opportunity to try to get people to finally fix some of these problems. what i identify in afghanistan is going on the united states. if you read about the u.s.
military, rotating troops in and out has been a problem since world war ii. rotations, six-month you see that the route a lot of these problems. got to do something, and that is what we are hoping we can do. >> university of pennsylvania law? >> no, undergrad. case western. what projects are on your plate as a special inspector general throughout afghanistan reconstruction that we are going to see you release in the next couple months? >> we have a little project coming out on the control over all the guns we have given them and weapons we have given to the afghans. we have a problem with where they are. it is a serious problem.
nobody knows. we can't account for all the weapons we have given the afghan military. that'll be an important project. we will be doing a major project on the energy issue. we are looking also at the health sector, seeing what we have done there. we're going to have a little job that will come out because we didn't know we bought a navy for the afghanistan people. our job is to try to find out about that. we think it is in boxes somewhere. navy, but it is not a big country. we are trying to figure out why we bought a navy, and what we bought. i joke about it, but it is important. we can't figure out why we bought it. it must've been a good idea for some contractor, but it is still in boxes and the afghans haven't
seen it. we will try to answer the question of why we bought an air plane that can't fly. what's your plan? >> wii's 20 but none of them can fly. they cannot physically fly. are falling apart. they are too dangerous to fly. they have been referred to -- we have had interviews with people who call them flying coffins. the question is who would the air force decided to pick this airplane and why did we pick that airplane? it's a disaster. certain i will find some other interesting stories. >> particularly the gun issue,
that is scary. if the president called to to the oval office and said, what do you need to make your job easier, what would you tell him? i would say -- i wouldn't mind getting a -- i don't know. me, which isd difficult. i kind of wish i had been important -- appointed four years before. the best thing he can do for afghanistan is make certain everybody pauses with the new government, does a real close scrutiny and assessment of the programs that make certain to do the right ones. that would help everybody. sopko,guest is john
inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction. thank you. >> thank you. >> for free transcripts or to give us comments about this program, visit us at qna.org. q&a programs are also available as podcasts. >> today, president obama promised u.s. forces in afghanistan that america's longest warble come to close at the end of the year. the president made a surprise celebrate the memorial
day holiday with troops, and said the mission will end at years end, and the warble come to responsible conclusion. after leaving afghanistan, the president flew to germany to visit troops at the airbase before returning to washington. includes's new book writer christopher hitchens talking about his life. a risk in the bikini and lifestyle. -- bohemian lifestyle. i decided to take it. it helped my concentration. it taught -- stopped me being bored, adn stopped other people being boring. it enhanced the moment. what i do it again? the answer is probably yes.
it is easy for me to say, but it has not been nice to my children. if i say i would do that again to you, the truth is it would be hypocritical. >> everybody knows. of what is at all wager and i am going to wager on this. i cannot make it come out any other way. >> read the interview from our program in our book that is published by public affairs. now available at your favorite bookseller. cantor and other republican lawmakers on the conservative domestic agenda. then, keith ellison and others at the new populism conference. after that, a conversation